Telematics is now expected to be in cars by consumers (along with fleets and insurance companies), but where is it coming from? What about aftermarket sales of telematics in this age of increasing OEM and in-phone telematics? Here are a few points to keep in mind:
• Frost & Sullivan expects a lot of growth in the market, and that aftermarket will continue to play a big part of the game with applications such as stolen vehicle tracking, insurance telematics, infotainment, and road user charging.
• The rising use of vehicle telematics is a concern to many aftermarket manufacturers based on their assumption that OEMs will use the technology to freeze aftermarket players out of the market, according to Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). The organization has launched the first-ever Aftermarket Telematics Challenge, which will recognize and honor the most innovative and commercially viable example of vehicle connectivity technology. Companies are invited to submit their entries by Oct. 1.
• Late last month, a huge acquisition was completed in the telematics and connected car sphere with Verizon Communications closing the deal on purchasing Hughes Telematics Inc. HTI is a leader in all three parts of the market – aftermarket, fleet operators, and OEMs, allowing Verizon to hedge its bets on the future of telematics.
• The question for dealers becomes: What’s your best option? Dealers have little say on what telematics services automakers are installing and how they’re being packaged and presented, and smart phones are taking away some of the consumer interest. So aftermarket is still a strong channel for marketing, but the specific market demands and technology solutions need dealer research and experience.